Archive for the ‘WWII History’ Category
1939 Arrival of first British troops in France officially announced.
Polish submarines ordered to break through to Britain or to be interned in Sweden.
1940 Afternoon attacks on London: 110 killed and 260 injured; Dover suffers worst attack of war.
Dutch SS formed under Dutch Nazi collaborationist Anton Mussert.
1941 Charles A. Lindbergh sparked charges of anti-Semitism with a speech in which he blamed ”the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration” for trying to draw the United States into World War II.
German order of the day says Leningrad must be taken quickly, regardless of cost. Zhukov takes command of city.
US freighter “Montana” sunk en route to Iceland, none killed.
1942 Heavy RAF raid on Dusseldorf.
Japanese drive halted by Australians at loribaiwa, just 32 miles from Port Moresby.
1943 British 8th Army occupies Brindisi in southern Italy.
German officers captured by the Red Army since the start of the war, form an anti-Hitler association, called the “Bund Deutscher Offiziere”.
1944 American troops enter Luxembourg.
The 15th Scottish Division crosses the Dutch border, east of Antwerp. A bridgehead is established across MeuseEscaut canal.
The U.S. Third Army captures a large part of Maginot Line intact and reach the German border at Trier on the Moselle river.
The 1st French Division occupies Dijon.
US First Army reaches Siegfried Line at German border. At Saulieu, France, official contact is made between Overlord forces (landed in Normandy 6/6/44) and Dragoon forces (landed in southern France 8/15/44); Allied front now runs from the English Channel to the Swiss border to the Mediterranean.
1945 Forty prominent Japanese are arrested for war crimes. Tojo, who ordered the raid on Pearl Harbor attempts suicide.Take a look at these other WWII Articles: WWII Today: January 20 WWII Today: June 26 WWII Today: August 10
1939 After a formal parliamentary debate, Canada declares war on Germany.
German troops achieve a breakthrough at Kutno and Sandomir and reach the Vistula.
1940 Another heavy night attack (September 10/11) on London, 18 killed; Buckingham Palace damaged.
Hitler decides to postpone Operation Sealion until the 24th September.
1941 British convoy SC-42 (64 ships), sailing from Sydney to the Britain is attacked by a wolf pack of 19Â U-boats just south of Greenland between the 10th and 14th September. SC-42 loses 17 merchant ships forÂ 69,813-tons. 2 U-boats, U-207 and U-510 are sunk in return.
The British and Russians demand that Iran expels all Axis nationals with 48 hours.
Japanese begin war games at the naval college in Tokyo in order to develop their strategy for theÂ Pacific.
1942 The Red Army forces attacking from besieged Leningrad fail to break the German lines.
1943 After weeks of prodding by Goebbels, Hitler consents to make a short radio broadcast to the German peopleÂ on the dramatic events of the summer, particularly in Italy. After paying tribute to his fallen partnerÂ Mussolini, Hitler warns his enemies that getting rid of him will not be nearly so simple.
Soviet marines supported by naval units of the Red Fleet recapture the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.
German troops occupy Rome and disarm all Italian troops in Italy and Greece.
1944 Eisenhower agrees to Monty’s airborne plan Operation ‘Market Garden’.
The first allied patrol crosses German frontier east of Liege, near Aachen.
The US First Army occupies Luxembourg.
The British make an unopposed landing on the Greek Island of Kythera off the Peloponnese. The Russians enter Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
In Italy, US Fifth Army launches offensive on Gothic Line toward Bologna.
The U.S. Navy begins a two-day bombardment of the Palau Islands in the Pacific.
1945 Vidkun Quisling, the Norwegian Nazi leader, is sentenced to death in Oslo.
1948 American-born Mildred Gillars, the Nazi wartime radio broadcaster known as ”Axis Sally,” was indictedÂ in Washington, D.C., for treason.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 15 WWII Today: June 27 WWII Today: June 30
1939 Chamberlain’s Cabinet plans for a 3 year war.
Advance elements of the BEF begin to a arrive in France.
Hermann Goering boasts that Berlin will never be bombed by the enemy.
The 4th Army (von Kluge) captures Lodz and Radom, as the 4th Panzer Division reaches the outskirts of Warsaw. Further penetrations in to the suburbs of Warsaw by the 4th Panzer Divisions are repulsed by the cities defenders.
1940 350 German planes attack London causing fires near St. Paul’s and the Guildhall; heavy casualties in bombed East End school housing homeless Blitz victims.
German guns shell Dover.
Italians bomb Tel Avis, killing 111 people.
1942 Hitler sacks Field Marshal List and takes personal command of Army Group A in the Caucasus, which having been foiled by the Red Army in the western Caucasus, was now meeting increased resistance in its drive towards Astrakhan and Baku.
Open pit burning of bodies begins at Auschwitz in place of burial. The decision is made to dig up and burn those already buried, 107,000 corpses, to prevent fouling of ground water.
A Japanese float plane, launched from a submarine, makes its first bombing run on a U.S. forest near Brookings, Oregon, in retaliation for the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo. Newspapers in the U.S. voluntarily withhold this information.
1943 The U.S.Major League Baseball commissioner announces that the 1943 World Series will be filmed and a twenty-two minute highlights film will be distributed to the armed forces in the European and Pacific theaters.
All Italian forces within the German-controlled areas of Italy, southern France, Yugoslavia, Albania and Greece are disarmed without opposition and made prisoners of war. Operation ‘Avalanche’ sees the U.S.
Fifth Army land at Salerno, South East of Naples. Taranto is occupied by the British without resistance.
Formation of an anti-Badoglio, Republican Fascist Government is formed in northern Italy.
The Italian fleet leaves Spezia in Northern Italy, en route for Malta, where it surrenders to the Royal Navy.
Iran, under pressure from the allies who occupy the country, declares war on Germany.
1944 General de Gaulle forms a provisional French government that includes Communists.
After being hit by 133 RAF bombs and rockets the day before, the Italian pre-war luxury liner RexÂ capsizes and sinks off Trieste, where it had been mothballed for much of the war. The Rex was the only Italian ship ever to hold the North Atlantic “Blue Ribbon” for the fastest trans-Atlantic crossing.
1945 Japanese in Korea surrender.Take a look a these other WW2 Posts: WWII Today: July 2 WWII Today: April 5 WWII Today: April 8
1939 Polish defenders of the Westerplatte at Danzig surrender after a week of continuous bombardment.
The Polish government leaves Warsaw for Lublin, while its forces surrounded at Radom face a hopeless situation.
At Bedzin, 200 Jews are burned alive in a synagogue by the Germans who charge Poles with the crime, and then execute 30 of them in a public square.
Australia passes the National Security act. Earl Page steps down as Australia’s Country Party Leader, to be replaced by Archie Cameron.
1940 RAF Bomber Command attacks concentrate on disrupting the German invasion effort. The Luftwaffe attacks London between dusk-to-dawn. 20 people are killed as an aerial torpedo hits an East End block of flats. Total casualties are estimated at 286 killed and 1,400 seriously injured.
National ‘day of prayer’ proclaimed in Britain.
1941 Leningrad is now completely surrounded after German troops close the land bridge at Schluesselburg. The Russians announce gains near Smolensk and claim eight German divisions have been beaten. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2_JDehgVVA
1942 Twelve British merchant seamen are awarded Russian decorations.
Japanese advance from Kokoda to Owen Stanley Ridge in an overland drive for Port Moresby, New Guinea.
1943 Eisenhower announces the Italian unconditional surrender. German reserves are rushed to Italy in the wake of the cease-fire between the Badoglio government and the Allies.
1944 The first V2 rockets hit London and Paris from mobile bases in Holland.
Canadians take Ostend, while the U.S. First Army take Liege, just 20 miles from the German border.
Russian troops enter Bulgaria unopposed as the Bulgarian’s declare war on Germany.
The U.S. Fifth Army launches an assault against the Gothic Line.
1945 The first American troops enter Tokyo itself. MacArthur enters Tokyo.
Korea is partitioned by the Soviet Union and the United States.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: December 29 WWII Today: June 11 Words at War: Banshee Harvest
1939 King George VI gives assent to National Registration Bill, providing government control over labour andÂ introducing identity cards.
Nine divisions of the French Army penetrate in to the Saarland, but their advance is very slow and noÂ effort is made to attack the ‘Westwall’ itself.
Polish forces trying to hold the line at the Narew River, start to collapse. Krakow surrenders to GermanÂ troops. The German 10th Army closes ever nearer to Warsaw. A deeper defensive line is prepared by theÂ Poles at the Bug River, as their battered armies begin a withdrawal toward that line. The BBC commencesÂ daily radio broadcasts in Polish.
1940 The codeword “Cromwell” is passed nation-wide, and church bells ring out in warning that a GermanÂ invasion may be underway.
Eastern and Southern England Commands are on full invasion alert, when at 16.56 London’s air-raid sirensÂ announce the arrival of 375 German bombers and supporting fighters. They come up the Thames to LondonÂ from the sea and set the London docks ablaze. The day-light raiders are gone by 18.00, but the fires areÂ still burning when the night raiders arrive to inflict more damage at 20.10 during which 306 are killedÂ and 1,337 seriously injured. The British make extravagant claims that 347 German aircraft have been lostÂ in past week against just 128 British.
1941 The offensive of the German 20th Mountain Army in northern Finland to capture the vital Lend-Lease portÂ of Murmansk, Russia, comes to a halt.
The German 6th Army achieves a breakthrough at Konotop in the Ukraine.
1942 Roosevelt threatens to override Congress unless they take action to curb inflation.
The Sixth Army begins a four-mile advance through Stalingrad to the Volga.
The Eighth Army stabilizes its line at Alam el Haifa, after Montgomery suspends the battle.
US Marines launch a surprise raid on the Japanese base at Talou, Guadalcanal.
1943 The RAF bomb V1 (flying bomb) launch sites on the North French coastline.
The German 17th Army begins the evacuation of the Kuban bridgehead across the Strait of Kerch to theÂ Crimea. Himmler and Goring order an evacuation of their rear area forces from the eastern Ukraine.
Japanese aircraft bomb Nanumea, Ellice Is.
1944 Romania declares war on Hungary.
The British 11th Armoured Division crosses the Albert Canal, to the East of Antwerp. The U.S. Third ArmyÂ crosses the Moselle. U.S. 9th Air Force fighters, supporting elements of the U.S. 7th Army in southernÂ France, destroy an estimated 500 German vehicles along a 25km section of road. Germany’sÂ armoredÂ forcesÂ have been shattered along the western front. German Army Group B has only about a hundred operationalÂ tanks.
U.S. Army forces supported by naval vessels land on Soepiori Island in the Schouten Is. off New Guinea.
Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: December 16 Words at War: Tomorrow Will Sing Attack on Pearl Harbor: December 7
1939 General Smuts wins cabinet battle in South Africa and declares war on Germany.
German troops advancing through Poland occupy the former German industrial area of Upper Silesia.
German troops take Krakow, Poland.
1940 The Luftwaffe bring to a close the third phase of their air offensive, having lost 308 aircraft in the last 2 weeks. However, the RAF have suffered 273 fighter losses and suffered extensive damage to their airfields and ground control systems. The official start of the London Blitz is initiated by the Germans, as they intentionally bomb the capital.
British naval blockade lifted on all French colonies supporting General de Gaulle.
King Carol of Romania abdicates the throne to his son, Michael and appoints Marshal Antonescu head of state.
1941 Germany announces that all Jews living in the country will have to begin wearing a Star of David.
Hitler’s War Directive No. 35 orders the capture of Moscow after the Ukraine operation has been completed.
The Vilna Ghetto is established containing 40,000 Jews.
The Japanese decide to be fully prepared for war by the end of October.
1942 The 4th Gebirgsjeager division of the 17th Army captures the Black Sea naval base of Novorossiysk, while six Axis divisions cross the Straits of Kerch to Taman. Heavy house-to-house fighting continues in the centre of Stalingrad.
Rommel is back to the positions held on the 31st August, having lost 51 tanks (out of 515), 70 guns, 400 trucks and 2,865 men. The Eighth Army losses were 1,640 men and 68 tanks.
Australians force total Japanese evacuation of Milne Bay, with just 1,000 troops surviving to be evacuated.
1943 A conference of 48 Republican governors, senators and congressmen convene at the Mackinac Island resortÂ between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan under the chairmanship of Sen. Arthur Vandenberg to hammer out a post-war foreign policy for the party. The meeting discards the isolationist stance that Republicans adopted following World War I and adopts a cautious internationalism.
The Red Army succeeds in separating Army Group Centre from Army Group South.
The United States asks the Chinese Nationals to join with the Communists to present a common front to the Japanese.
1944 Victory in the ‘Battle of London’ is proclaimed after 80 days of V1 bombardment with over 8,000 flying-bombs launched, with approximately 2,300 reaching London.
Germany launches first V-2 in combat, toward the Paris suburbs. The V-2 is the world’s first true ballistic missile.
The Canadians surround Calais, trapping the German garrison. Liege falls to British troops, while theÂ U.S. First Army pushes East through Belgium, crossing Meuse. Ghent and Courtrai are liberated.
The Russians occupy Turnu-Severin on the Danube in Romania and advance to the Yugoslav border. They also reach the eastern Carpathians.
1945 Japanese forces in Southwest Pacific surrender aboard HMS Glory.Take a look at these other WWII posts: WWII Today: July 25 WWII Today: December 1 WWII Today: May 1
1939 President Roosevelt declares US neutrality and upholds ban on export of weapons.
The US establishes Neutrality Patrol to monitor military operations in western hemisphere and declares Neutrality Zone 300 miles off east coast.
French forces begin a limited offensive towards Saarbrucken.
Under the relentless pressure by the Wehrmacht, the Polish Army withdraws behind the Vistula river, but the German troops gain bridgeheads on the opposite bank.
1940 An irate Hitler orders a new offensive by the Luftwaffe against Britain with no regard for the civilian population.
London is set as the primary target, after the RAF for the first time makes several night raids on Berlin, causing many civilian casualties. Air raids continue over Southeast England with a hospital in Kent being hit, killing 23 patients and two nurses.
August civilian casualty figures announced at 1,075 killed and 1.261 seriously injured.
King Carol II of Romania is forced to give full powers to Fascist General Ion Antonescu. Rioting by fascists in Romania destroys Jewish businesses.
Japanese troops enter French Indochina without permission; Vichy France suspends talks.
1941 British release General Dentz, after Vichy releases British POWs in Syria.
1943 The Eighth Army captures San Stefano, 10 miles inland in Calabria, Italy.
US paratroops land behind the Japanese positions at Lae, surrounding about 20,000 Japanese troops.
1944 The US Ninth Army activated in France under Lieutenant General William Simpson.
The First use of Douglas A-26 Invader light bomber in combat (by US Ninth Air Force in England).
Germany launches its first V-2 missile at Paris, France.
The U.S. 3rd Army crosses the Meuse as the British reach Ghent.
The Russians declare war on Bulgaria.
A German-Hungarian counterattack in the area of Klausenburg in Romania fails.
1945 British land in Singapore.
“Tokyo Rose,” Japanese-American Iva Toguri D’Aquino, is arrested in Yokohama for her radio broadcasts meant to demoralize US troops.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: July 12 WWII Today: July 3 WWII Yank Pin Up: Evelyn Ankers
1939 The RAF attacks German shipping at Wilhelmshaven, Cuxhaven and Schillig Roads, with negligible results (7 out of 30 Wellington bombers are shot down by German fighters and Anti-Aircraft).
The German 3rd Army and 4th Army join in the Corridor and re-establish the land connection between East Prussia and the Reich that was severed in 1919 as a result of the Versailles Treaty. German troops cross the River Pilica in southern Poland. The German successes in Poland are beginning to wear down the Polish armies, which are now becoming isolated from one another, making the mounting of coordinated counter-attacks increasingly difficult. At Bydgoszcz, a thousand Poles are murdered, including several dozen Boy Scouts who are shot against a wall by German troops.
1940 Hitler opens Winter Relief Campaign with a speech claiming that ‘the last island in Europe will be broken’.
Hitler vows to eradicate British cities.
The commander at the RAF field at Biggin Hill blows up his own hangars to stop Luftwaffe raids.
America First Committee (isolationist) is established in Chicago, originating with Yale students, for the purpose of keeping the United States out of World War II.
1941 U-652 attacks the US destroyer Greer off Iceland after being tracked and harassed by it. As a result of U652’s attack on the US destroyer Greer, President Roosevelt warns German and Italian vessels that from now on, if they enter the Pan-American security zone, they do so at there own risk.
Finns refuse to advance on Leningrad.
1942 Soviet planes bomb Budapest in the war’s first air raid on the Hungarian capital.
1943 The Australians land in force to the East of Lae on North coast of New Guinea.
1944 The British 11th Armored Division takes Antwerp and the docks undamaged.
Allied air forces start operation ‘Ratweek’ to hinder the German retreat from Balkans.
The Russian and Finnish governments agree on and implement a cease-fire. The Germans have to leave Finland by the 15th September.
1945 Emperor Hirohito asks his people to co-operate in setting up a peaceful state.
Japanese troops on Wake Island surrender to a detachment of the United States Marine Corps.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: December 23 WWII Advertisement: Allison Airplane Engine World War II Today: December 8
1939 The official beginning of World War 2: After Germany rejects the Anglo-French ultimatum of September 1st, which called for the withdrawal of all German forces from Poland, Britain and France declare war on Germany at 11am.
The Kriegsmarine begins its campaign against British merchant shipping with 17 U-boats putting to sea out of a total of about 57 operational boats, far fewer than the 300 DÃ¶nitz had felt he needed to succeed against Britain.
The British passenger ship Athenia is sunk by a German submarine in the Atlantic, with 30 Americans among those killed. American Secretary of State Cordell Hull warns Americans to avoid travel to Europe unless absolutely necessary.
An RAF Blenheim bomber of 139 Squadron conducts the RAF’s first operational sortie of the war when it flew over to Germany to check shipping in the Schillig Roads. With a frozen radio, it was unable to transmit any information back to base and by the time it landed it was too late to mount an attack that day. Later that night, Whitley bombers conduct an number of leaflet dropping sorties over Germany.
55 Polish peasants are rounded up and shot at Truskolasy by the Nazis.
The Australian Prime Minister, R.G. Menzies broadcasts that Australia is now at war with Germany.
1940 The US Congress finally agrees to the handing over of 50 old destroyers in return for 99 year leases of British Naval bases in Antigua, St. Lucia, Trinidad, British Guiana the Bahamas, Jamaica and Argentia.
German invasion of Britain, Operation Sealion, is set for the 21st September.
Romania is forced to cede Transylvania to Hungary and Dobrudja to Bulgaria under the Vienna award.
Dutch government-in-exile forms in London under Pieter Gerbrandy.
1941 Gas chambers at Auschwitz in Poland are used for first time, using Zyklon B, which was basically Hydrogen Cyanide.
1942 The defenders of Leningrad launch an attack in a vain attempt to meet the relief forces. The pincers of the 6th Army and 4th Panzer Army finally meet up to the west of Stalingrad at Pitomnik. The Germans now attempted to break into Stalingrad from the west, but were unable to do so because of limited Red Army counter-attacks against his flanks, which diverted a significant proportion of his forces. Luftflotte 4 continues its round-the-clock air attacks against Stalingrad.
The RAF makes a record number of sorties in North Africa as desert battle rages. Rommel’s withdrawal is speeded up by heavy New Zealand pressure.
1943 The new Italian government under Marshal Badoglio signs an armistice with the allies in secret. This allows the allies to launch Operation ‘Baytown’, the invasion of mainland Italy. The British Eighth Army crosses the Strait of Messina unmolested.
1944 A National Day of Prayer is declared in Britain on fifth anniversary of outbreak of war.
British Empire casualties are revealed as 242,995 killed, 80,603 missing, 311,500 wounded and 290,381 captured.
The British Second Army liberates Brussels.
The U.S. First Army takes Tournai. French and U.S. forces enter Lyons.
Field Marshal von Rundstedt assumes command of the German armies in the West.
Wake Island and other strategic targets in Pacific are strafed by U.S. Navy aircraft for two days, during which 13 Japanese ships are reported sunk.
Anne Frank and family are deported from Amsterdam to concentration camps.
1945 General Tomoyuki Yamashita, the Japanese commander of the Philippines, surrenders to Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainwright at Baguio.
The famous Van Eyck altarpiece is returned to Ghent, Belgium.
Japanese forces on Wake and in the Caroline and Bonin Islands surrender.
ETO World Series opens in the old Hitler Youth stadium in Nuremberg, with racially integrated American teams.Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 4 WWII Today: September 1 WWII Today: July 4
1939 National Service Act passed in Britain.
Hitler indicates to the Britain and France that he would withdraw from Poland provided that he was allowed to retain Danzig and the Polish Corridor. This was dismissed and a joint ultimatum was given to Germany to withdraw her troops from Poland within twelve hours or find herself at war with Britain and France.
Sweden issues a declaration of neutrality. German Ministers at Stockholm, Sweden, and Oslo, Norway, give a declaration that Germany would respect the integrity of Sweden and Norway.
Failure of a last-minute effort by Mussolini to find a peaceful solution of the German-Polish conflict.
The Luftwaffe raids Warsaw. German troops capture the Jablunka pass in the Tatra mountains. Fighting continued for the strategic island of Westerplatte at the mouth of the Vistula River. A massive attack was launched by 60 Stuka divebombers of the II and III Stukageschwader Immelmann directed at crushing the island garrison. The air assault was not directly followed up by a German attack from the ground and the Poles were able to reorganize their defenses. German aircraft bomb railway station at Kolo, killing 111 refugees.
The Germans start construction of Stutthof concentration camp in which 65,000 Polish Christians will ultimately perish.
1940 Air attacks continue on London.
“Destroyers for Bases”: Roosevelt and Churchill agree to trade 50 old US destroyers for 99-year leases on British bases in Bahamas, Antigua, Trinidad, Jamaica, British Guiana, St. Lucia, as well as land in Bermuda and Newfoundland; Roosevelt bypasses Congress in the deal.
1941 RAF daylight raids on Occupied Europe miss only 19 days in August and September.
General Sir Claude Auchinleck issues his first directive in respect to the forthcoming British Offensive, ‘Operation Crusader’, by ordering General Sir Alan Cunningham to produce a plan for the relief of Tobruk and the re-conquest of Cyrenaica.
1943 A special order of the day from Stalin announces the Russian victories on Voronezh, Bryansk, Donets and Sea of Azov fronts.
1944 The launching of V1’s from France ceases.
The allies cross into Belgium.
The Germans begin to evacuate the Aegean Islands.
1945 The formal Japanese surrender takes place aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
Take a look at these other WWII Posts:WWII Today: July 17 WWII Today: May 26 WWII Today: June 13